Wednesday, February 24, 2010

An AMERICAN school has fired ALL ITS TEACHERS?!

Since when does an American school have the guts to do THIS?

"A Rhode Island high school is set to fire every single teacher after the teachers' union refused to go along with the superintendent's proposed plan for increased workload without much extra pay. The school, Central Falls High School, was one of the worst-performing high schools in the state."

I won't quote too much from the article you can open in the link; and you can keep linking into it for more and more information. I want to give you the SHEER PLEASURE of reading how a school superintendent, FRANCES GALLO (God BLESS you!) exposed the union and chided parents with "Remember, we need YOU if we are to reach our potential.."
Ducky alerted me to this and I want to thank him for it........Would that more schools would get really serious and American schools would start performing again as well as they did when I was a kid~!
z

50 comments:

Jen said...

Imagine!

I applaud Gallo, and wish that we had more like her.

It's time for teacher's unions to go.

Texas public schools are among the worst, and we're seeing rapid growth among homeschoolers, voucher schools, and University Model Schools.

Chuck said...

I agree with Jen. I am actually not against unions but the NEA has done a lot of damage to our educational system

Linda said...

This administrator is to be commended! It is about time teachers need to be put to the task of teaching! I also agree that the unions need to be disbanned. Not just the NEA, but all of them. There was a time and place for them, but they have out priced their usefulness.

Anonymous said...

Hooray! At last someone stands up to a public service union. Now, if the parents would get a grip, back the superintendent, and see to the needs of their children.

Millions around the country are losing their jobs or like my son, accepting furlough time.

Teachers seem to think they should be exempt from hard times and get more.

Well, if you're so dedicated and so special, prove it. Prove that the children come first and are not there to provide you with jobs, but to benefit from your "expertise" and dedication.

Otherwise hit the road and start job shopping like millions of other Americans.

I know for a fact, that in my grandson's middleschool, the overwhelming majority of teachers were out of their classrooms the minute that final bell rang. The campus became deserted in record time.

If a student wanted to talk to the teacher after class....good luck kid! The union says you don't stay without extra pay.....you don't stay!

I don't know how it is in Rhode Island, but in California, if they try to fire a tenured teacher, it takes years. The union will back any teacher no matter how inept, or what that teacher might have done to deserve firing.

Usually what ends up happening at the worst, is a transfer, dumping that teacher on some other school.

So, good for Rhode Island, and good for Gallo, we need more just like her.

Pris

Brooke said...

The time of the unions is past; they no longer function as they were intended but instead are a prop for laziness and bad work ethic.

KUDOS to this school for jettisoning the flotsam.

BB-Idaho said...

Those that can..do
Those that can't do..teach
Those thant can't do or teach...
become administrators. What's next, some general firing his entire brigade of combat troops?

Anonymous said...

I think the comment about firing combat troops was rather asinine.

Funny thing about being in combat you see, if you fail there, it just means death.

WVDOTTR

Anonymous said...

There is hope for education. We need more superintendents like Gallo. Nice of you to bring it to Z's attention Ducky.

HAM

Elmers Brother said...

good on duhkkky. I had read this and thought how good that someone would hold teachers accountable.

Anne L. Baker said...

We'll nobody is indispensible. Why can't they focus in their profession first? surely monetary reward will follow if they prove that they are worth it. This may be a harsh action but is a straight forward lesson for everyone.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

I normally don't take offense to the commenters here but this is obviously an exception. While I am thrilled that this administrator has done the right thing, leave the teachers out of the bashing. I spend at least 3 hours a day 6 days a week prepping, grading and planning. Teaching is one of the few professions where in order to get a raise you have to continue your education. If I don't get a masters degree I don't make more money. I top out after 5 years at 40K. And no, we don't get tuition reimbursement either so that 20 grand I have to spend to get my masters I have to pay for. And yes I understand that I probably won't get a pay increase this year and I'm fine with that. And teachers here have to show up 30 minutes before school start and must stay 30 minutes after it ends, and many of us stay later than that.

And BB... Kiss my ass, better yet go try to teach at my school and then bring that garbage. You would not last the day.

Now I have to go read essays for some kids who are struggling with passing the writing proficiency. I am helping to tutor them, on my prep, no extra pay.

Z said...

Vegas, keep up the good work; we need more like you...this certainly wasn't aimed at teachers working their (#&@*(#'s off. We salute you.

Jen said...

Vegas, you sound like my two best friends, who are both teachers here in TX. Both arrive before work, both work on the weekends (preparing).

I admire teachers who truly care about making a difference.

Anonymous said...

Vegas, my 2 siblings are teachers with one being an administrator, so I salute you on being an outstanding teacher. Z is right, we need more like you. God bless you! BB's comment is obviously based on ignorance of the profession.

I am also glad when the ones who make your work a thousand times harder are held accountable.

HAM

JINGOIST said...

FANTASTIC! It's about damned time!

JINGOIST said...

A victory!

Everybody's favorite guy--Janet Napolitano--FINALLY admitted that the Ft. Hood shootings were "terrorism."

Wrenching the truth out of leftists is an agonizing process...

Chuck said...

I want to follow up on Vegas' comments in relationship to my assertion that the NEA has done significant damage to education in the US.

First, thank you for being a teacher, it sounds like you really do care for your kids. My sister-in -law is a teacher here in Michigan and I know she has often gone the extra mile to be creative to get her kids to learn. Finally, my kids have for the most part gotten great teachers in what is now 12 years in the education system with 3 kids.

The problem is, there are also a fair number of bad teachers and they are tolerated by the NEA and the profession. I do not mean to imply that you tolerate or support bad teachers, my suspicion is you do not. The profession as a whole and the NEA in particular have a history though of circling the wagons around bad teachers and shielding them.

This was one of the main criticisms from the NEA over the NO child Left Behind, it was demanding accountability of teachers and they have historically fought this. They often fight having teachers licensed. They fight competency tests for teachers and fight the removal of incompetent teachers.

I have tremendous respect for teachers but less so for the profession itself for it's refusal to clean up it's ranks.

JINGOIST said...

Chuck you are absolutely right. No one in their right mind is against teachers. We ALL revere good teachers and view then as a precious asset.

The damnble teacher's unions are a different matter altogether!

Always On Watch said...

the teachers' union refused to go along with the superintendent's proposed plan for increased workload without much extra pay

Teachers' unions in the D.C. area haven't groused much about no-pay-for-increased-workload, even during these days of Draconian budget cuts. Perhaps the fear of losing their jobs altogether (to less experienced teachers who don't command big pay) is a factor; at least, so one of my friends in the public school system here tells me.

When Rhode Island canned those teachers, RI will be able to rehire teachers at lower salaries. In my experience, new teachers can be as effective as experienced ones. Not always, certainly, but sometimes. Tenured teachers do have a way of laying back and not caring as much as they used to in their early days of teaching, which has a high level of burnout as a profession for various reasons.

JINGOIST said...

There are two things we can do to improve the quality of public education that won't involve higher taxes or police state action against irresponsible parents, and they should be done:

1. Give vouchers to parents so they can use THEIR tax money that they pay in property taxes to move their children out of failing schools. I used one years ago to move my daughter out of an awful school, and it was a great move. It's truly a PRO-CHOICE move.

http://www.schoolchoices.org/roo/fried1.htm

2. Eliminate the teacher's unions. What gives them the right to organize against the taxpayer? The unions protect incompetent and sometimes even criminal teachers. They protect the weakest teachers, who should just be fired! By eliminating the behemoth that is the government teacher's unions, good teachers will be paid more and bad teachers will be sent packing.

This simple truth is embedded in our DNA when it comes to the private sector, why in the heck would you think that UNION teachers would be a better way to teach our children?

http://teachersunionexposed.com/

http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1957277,00.html

FairWitness said...

Labor unions are supposed to protect their members rights, negoitate better contracts, higher pay, benefits, retirement, etc. They're not supposed to protect bad teachers or support their efforts to do as little as possible for the money they're paid to teach.

And these teachers in this school ALL stink on ice (to borrow Glenn Beck's verbiage). Their performance is abyssmal. I actually saw one of these teachers saying they've done a great job when you factor in the students they have to work with.

Really? There's nothing they can do AT ALL to improve their performance???? It's the students fault???

These teachers are unwilling to work harder to improve the failures of their teaching, working longer hours, tutoring their student WITHOUT additional pay???? They're already being paid for teaching and they're NOT doing that. Why should they be paid more money to do the job they're already being paid to do?

This kind of mindset is insanity! Thank goodness the school's superintendent possesses common sense. Good for her!

Ducky's here said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ducky's here said...

Well, I'll tell you, z. When I was attending RISD I spent time in Central Falls and even back a couple decades it was a very tough place. It's worse now.
I doubt you or Linda would drive through without a gun on the passenger seat.
So let's here it for Arne Duncan who has probably never had to pat down a student fro weapons and drugs or done any of the heavy lifting.
It brings up a few questions:
1. How are they going to attract teachers to this school after this?

2. The question absolutely nobody will ask. Is there a significant proportion of these students who absolutely aren't going to achieve under the best circumstances.

3. Would Jen be happy if we just took the gang bangers and sent them to her kid's school and assumed that everything would be fine?

4. Why do people call President Empty Suit's administration "liberal"? This ever happen under Chucklenuts?

Here's how this probably plays out. A charter school skims the English speakers who are making an effort and points to it's grand achievement. They'll publish a test score that in reality isn't a whole lot better than what the kids were doing previously.
The rest? I defy Arne Duncan to come back in two years and show any progress. The culture and the streets of Central Falls will just have those kids playing survival.

Jen said...

Ducky? :-)

I have to smile a little bit when you start talkin' tough.

IT's just funny...

Jen said...

Hey Ducky, get yer panties out of a wad and come see my latest post.

beamish said...

Oh can I answer Ducky?

::raises hand::

1. How are they going to attract teachers to this school after this?

I'd guess loyalty to paycheck will win over loyalty to the NEA. Afterall, the NEA takes a portion of their paychecks all year round, but isn't giving them a paycheck or a job.

2. The question absolutely nobody will ask. Is there a significant proportion of these students who absolutely aren't going to achieve under the best circumstances.

Perhaps, perhaps not. Are a significant portion of them catagorized as "learning disabled?" Should more of them be?

3. Would Jen be happy if we just took the gang bangers and sent them to her kid's school and assumed that everything would be fine?

C'mon Ducky. It's 2010. Are DemoKKKrats ever going to stop opposing desegregation? Is it really that damned difficult for leftists to think outside of racist caricatures? If you really don't want the government in charge of the composition and curriculum of schools, why not ditch the Department of Education?

4. Why do people call President Empty Suit's administration "liberal"? This ever happen under Chucklenuts?

Obama hasn't constructed the requisite death camps for "undesirables" to make him unquestionably leftist, but I don't think that skirts him across the line into conservatism.

JINGOIST said...

Ducky and I actually agree about something for a change. He asks:

"4. Why do people call President Empty Suit's administration "liberal"?

Good question! He's not a traditional liberal or "socialist" in the mold of a Bernie Sanders.

Obama's a fascist.

He tends to favor the naked fascism of government force used against the American people in the form of mandates and laws which control people in every imaginable venue of their lives. The government health care takeover and Cap and Trade bills are PERFECT examples of an abusive government on steroids. It's far too easy and ultimately inaccurate to label the Obamas, Pelosis, Reids, and Franks of the world as "liberals" or even "commies." They are dangerous leftists for sure, but they favor CRONY capitalism as their vehicle to power and personal enrichment.

They may invest heavily in General Electric because of it's overly close ties to the Democrat Party and the Obama Administration. The window company Serious Windows is also deeply in bed with the Obama Administration. They;re making MILLIONS on the global warming scam. This is called Crony Capitalism.

They are fascists through and through, and they couldn't care less whether man-caused global warming is real or not. They are using it as a vehicle to CRUSH the American dream and empower and enrich themselves. Make no mistake, these people HATE America's Founding Principles.

It's less than accurate to call these people "socialists", we'd be lucky if that actually covered it.

Z said...

Ducky, first, I don't have a gun.
Second, what's wrong with a superintendent letting go teachers not doing their jobs? What's wrong with encouraging parents to get involved?
I know....nobody CARES anymore, and I think that your frustration stems from that more than any ideology? I could be giving you too much credit, but :-)...

The question you might be asking, Ducky, is how do we change a neighborhood of neglect of our children? How do we 'make' teachers who'd come into the business with hopes of helping children but find they barely find time to discipline let alone teach anything, really care anymore?

The answer is STOP THE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. There are AMAZING schools in Chicago and Los Angeles where the superintendents GOT TOUGH and said "ENOUGH!"...Jaime Escalante, and that Black educator in ,I believe, Illinois (and more of them) demanded excellence and DAMN, iF THEY DIDN"T GET IT! The FREEDOM WRITERS story is TRUE...there are many of them, but parents and teachers are afraid of offending by demanding excellence!?

WE CAN DO IT..we can give kids PRIDE, we can believe in them.

I honestly believe that,if those examples can work, they can work EVERYWHERE. But, God forbid we don't bow to the liberal god of PC and keep lowering the bar so the kids don't realize THEY ARE FAILING..their whole FUTURE are OVER because we have 15 yr olds who can't READ.

Ducky's here said...

Second, what's wrong with a superintendent letting go teachers not doing their jobs?

--------------------------

Facts not in evidence.

Before we can make any judgments there has to be a demonstration that a distinctly different outcome for this group is possible.

Maybe there are teachers who can do the job (without a much stronger administrators I doubt it) but I will say again, this pretty much guarantees they won't be going anywhere near this school. Who wants those hassles.

Z said...

Ducky, OR teachers will see this district really CARES and is willing to put the support behind them to be stricter, encourage kids and their parents, and get a STAND AND DELIVER result?

I don't believe that something's being broken means we have to stay status quo because there doesn't seem to be a fix in sight...
That's not American thinking....you know that.

Anonymous said...

HURRAY and HALLELUJAH!
You had it comin' to ya!
Goody! Goody!


The NEA has deliberately created a MEDIOCRACY -- that is The Absolute Rule of Mediocrity.

Demonstrations of EXCELLENCE are now viewed as inherently unfair, something to be denigrated, despised as discriminatory, unduly harsh towards the feelings of the less able. Therefore, excellence is an unworthy aim that should be swept out the door into the cold and wind and left to fend for itself. Excellence finds no home and no encouragement in out failing, largely FARCICAL public school systems.

That said, I have no idea how the courageous Ms. Gallo got around the infernal system of TENURE which makes it all-but-impossible to fire a teacher, unless he or she publicly MuRDERS or RAPES a student in PLAIN SIGHT -- and even THEN some smart mouth union lawyer will undoubtedly try to DEFEND the INDEFENSIBLE.

Wee must restore the system where the boss is the BOSS. If he doesn't like you -- for ANY reason -- you're TOAST. Go find another job with a nicer boss -- or better yet -- go into a different line of work.

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

Stand and Deliver involved a small number of students, z and you still have those results.

In Boston those kids head for Boston Latin, the O'Bryant Academy of Math and Science or parochial schools.

The kids with motivated parents and good English are doing well.

What we have in this instance is the demand that the success be duplicated in a student body in a town with over 30% unemployment and all the other social problems imaginable.

RightKlik said...

We need to see more of this. The Teachers' union is largely responsible for the sad state of education in this country.

Z said...

Ducky, you said "What we have in this instance is the demand that the success be duplicated in a student body in a town with over 30% unemployment and all the other social problems imaginable."

Have you ever seen the STAND AND DELIVER or FREEDOM WRITERS neighborhoods!!!? INNER CITY GHETTO.
Seen that school in Chicago? INNER CITY GHETTO.

It can work IF the kids know the teachers are devoted and dedicated to HELPING THEM.

I've always wondered why we can't mix inner city kids with only one parent at home with grandparents who nobody comes to visit...have the kids go to a home of an older retiree and LEARN, do their homework with them, feel someone CARES>..win/win.

I wish I'd put that in motion when I was younger. I think it would have been a good idea IF lawyers didn't threaten to sue the first time some kid fell in the elderly person's home, right?

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Thanks for the kind words. Believe me I am not a huge fan of teachers unions, and if my union told me not to stay past contract hours (which I have never heard of here in the desert) I'd act like one of my students and tell them to go fornicate with themselves. The missing element here are the parents. If you want to see a successful school find one that has parents who care. I can't tell you how many times I've given granola bars to kids because they have not eaten, or how many kids sleep in class because they are up at all hours because their parents are not doing their jobs. Before you blame the teachers for the state of education start at home.

And Z, my apologies for cursing on your blog.

Z said...

Vegas guy...you said:
Before you blame the teachers for the state of education start at home.

I'm so sure you're right. Many parents should be fired, too.

Jess said...

I was in awe reading about the plan last week! Did I read right? That only 7 percent of the 11th graders were proficient in reading?

I graduated from a small rural high school. Class of 1987, we had just 32 graduates.

7 percent of that is less than 3! My God I cannot imagine if even in a small class like that, if only 2-3 people could READ!

There is NO excuse for the failure going on at that school. Parents and teachers need to get their collective heads out of their butts and put these kids FIRST! My goodness, that is the generation that will be ruling this country when I'm an old woman. God help us all!

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Jess, that is pretty sad. We did pretty good on our proficiencies in reading (84%) and writing (69%). Math unfortunately was another story.

Jen said...

Vegas, one of the friends I mentioned earlier works at a "special programs" school. The kids aren't learning disabled, they're in trouble.

I'm astrounded at the stories she tells about their home lives. These kids, by fifth grade, have seen more than most adults. My friend is a saint!

However, when we transitioned from University Model School to public school, I was politely informed that my input wasn't needed.
:-(
I know that private and public are two totally different animals, but to a parent who cares, it is incredibly disturbing and demoralizing to be shut out of the process like that.
Seems like in some public schools (our district is the only one I've experienced), there's a mind your own business attitude towards parents...like we're morons who wouldn't understand the complexities of education.

So I feel confused. Do teachers want parents involved or not?
Involved just to feed, bathe, and rest the children?
Or involved to teach, mentor, instruct, guide, and possibly suggest subtle changes to MY child's curricula?

Either way, I am going to teach, mentor, instruct, and guide my child. We've taken up supplementing with math at home b/c the program at school is so weak. (the AR reading program dominates everything...)

Anyway, just looking for some input.

Z said...

"However, when we transitioned from University Model School to public school, I was politely informed that my input wasn't needed."

Jen, I'd be visiting the School Board meetings if I were you...what do they not want you involved FOR? That's utterly ridiculous and even scary.

Anonymous said...

Jen, just so you know you have company. I helped to raise my grandson. I took him to school and picked him up every day and he went home with me where he remained until my daughter picked him up after work.

There were no objections to our waiting outside the separated fenced, kindergarten area.

However, I found, at the school, the same attitude you describe. When he first began 1st grade, and was out of the confines of the kindergarten area, I told him I'd wait on the lawn outside his classroom for the first few days, until he was accustomed to the greater area he was now in and knew his way around.

When the teacher saw me and a handful of Moms standing out there, she said, "what are you doing here'? She wasn't pleased.

I explained, and told her I would be there until he felt secure enough to walk and meet me on the sidewalk outside the school. I was firm about it.

When my children were little, a parent could sit in the classroom if she wanted, to observe the teacher and/or her child. I never did that as I felt it wasn't necessary. But, parents were welcome then.

Each class had a room mother who helped the teacher. This was the policy of the Principal. To engage the parents and work with them.

In those days, I volunteered as a PTA member. We catalogued books in the library, raised money for classroom and playground needs, and generally helped with activities which aided the teachers, all with the blessing of the Principal. It was a friendly, cooperative endeavor.

It was like this until the union was formed and in place. It was never the same again.

Pris

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Jen, you need to start complaining and loudly. If they won't listen then go to the press. But keep the pressure on them.

Z said...

Vegas, you are SO RIGHT about going to the press.

Pris, I was SO hoping that you'd chime in with the stories you've told me and published here about the unions and how schools changed after all the activism you had done for your kids....Thanks a million. More parents must read your comment and ACT again, don't let the unions or the administrations INTIMIDATE, that's their GOAL!
Man, Ann Coulter has written about the teacher's union so well....darned if I can remember which book, tho I've only READ one of hers!! I have it on CD because Mr and Mrs Z listened to it on a trip to Santa Barbara a few years ago....is there a book called GUILTY? It was something like that..xxx

Anonymous said...

Some populations don't need a traditional school that teaches the Three R's -- what they need is a very strict, tough REFORM school atmosphere.

One of the primary duties of any educational system is to provide an atmosphere in which learning CAN take place. If that means segregating the thuggish, disruptive bad kids from those who were properly raised, so be it.

TEACHING and LEARNING fundamental skills and basic knowledge should be the aim of every school -- NOT exercises in social engineering and indoctrination in subservience to political correctness and the virtues internationalism.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

FT, my old and dear friend, on THIS we are in SUCH agreement. REFORM school is RIGHT. And I think they'd flourish if they know people CARE THAT THEY LEARN.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Z,
I really missed the boat on this post. My friend, Vegas, has spoken for the teacher side very well as he always does. I applaud the super for what she did.

My colleagues and I spend a lot of time at school. I get to school at around 6:30 everyday. We begin at 7:55. I rarely leave before 4 PM. I teach advanced classes, so they write a lot of essays, extended response questions, and they read a lot of primary sources.

I got a masters on my own dime to get a pay raise as Vegas related. I opted out of my union because the NEA is not a union it's a PAC for the Dems. I still have to pay, but I get money back that the NEA spends on political causes at the end of year. Not much, but still a small win in my book.

I'm not anti-union, heck I've been in a union since 1975 and spent five years as president of my police union.

As for our school it is a school with a lot of diversity as well as about a 50% poverty rate. We have been rated as "excellent" by the state of Ohio for the last three years. Our students had an over 80% passage rate for the Ohio Graduation Test in all five parts of the test.

We are doing the job and our faculty is dedicated and proud of our profession. For the most part, teachers do a great job, although the union has trashed the profession in most areas by protecting crap teachers.

I appreciate the comments about teachers being part of the solution and not the problem. This phenomenon occurs in a lot of professions, in which bad leadership is overcome by the people delivering the service.

This is one of those cases. Sorry I got in so late.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I think it's about time to fire more if not MOST ADMINISTRATORS and then fire MORE TEACHERS who refuse to PERFORM.

Then, perhaps, with those fiscal reductions, perhaps we can then provide those who remain with some monetary INCENTIVES if they DO happen to do well and show excellence in class!

1. FIRE MORE ADMINISTRATORS
2. REMOVE MORE PROGRAMS
3. TEACH THE BASICS and DO IT WELL
4. ACCOUNTABILITY
5. RESPONSIBILITY
6. REMOVE UNION INFLUENCE, whose sole purpose is to CREATE STAGNANCY
7. FIRE TEACHERS WHO DON'T PERFORM

and

8. Oh, did I mention: FIRE MORE ADMINISTRATORS!!

BZ

Jen said...

Thanks Pris, Vegas.

My early concern was with how weak the math curriculum was. Our UMS was at least a year ahead, but this public school just performs poorly anyway (even compared to other public schools).

I also suggested a few books and was met with immediate disregard.
"Uh, parents don't do that here."


Oh. Okay.
But you have a library full of crap books like the "Goosebumps" series, which is fast food for the brain. Ooookaaaay. :P

I have had conferences with all of my daughter's teachers, and that has helped.

I know my son's teacher personally, so I keep tabs on him, and she's my partner!

However...each time I go have lunch with my son (kindergarten), I get the strangest feeling. The teachers and aides seem to have this attitude of gloom and doom, as if they loathe having an "outsider" in their presence. It feels to me like there's not nearly enough accountability, like Pris was mentioning before.

Of course, this makes me want to be there even more...

It's very interesting how the entire attitude of a school is determined from the top down.

M.A. said...

Teachers unions consistently block necessary school reform measures. They also protect bad teachers at the expense of children.

I hope this opens the flood gates for some serious changes to the way the educational system works. We need more leaders like Gallo to step up and do the right thing for children.

Chuck said...

BZ,

FIRE MORE ADMINISTRATORS

Michigan has the MEAP test. It's similar to tests given in other states in which it is a statewide test given once a year to select grades. The results are released publicly in the local papers and the schools are graded based on their scores and have repercussions for under performance.

My point is, what did the schools do to help he kids score better on the tests? If you answered teach the children so they knew the material you would be naively wrong. They hired "MEAPs coordinators" to oversee the process. Many of the schools have a full time coordinator and they make a good sum of money.

So instead of just teaching the kids, we hire new administrators to make sure they know how to take the test better.